Dear editor, As a tremendous admirer of Masha Gessen’s previous work, I was disappointed to read her latest comment in The New Yorker on “John Kelly and the Language of the Military Coup.” I think Ms. Gessen speaks with little understanding of the civic depth of our society, the checks and balances in our system, the storied,Continue reading “LETTER TO THE EDITOR, THE NEW YORKER: ON “JOHN KELLY AND THE LANGUAGE OF THE MILITARY COUP””

Verlander to Houston

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Justin Verlander paced in the living room of his apartment in downtown Birmingham. He was agitated, anxiously mulling his options. Kate Upton, his supermodel fiancée, was with him as he repeated: “Trust your instincts. Trust your instincts.” Verlander, the Tigers’ longtime ace right-hander, called his agent as midnight approached Aug. 31. HeContinue reading “Verlander to Houston”

The Sorrows of Old Verlander

A car with two men pulled up to Justin Verlander’s penthouse apartment in downtown Birmingham. They parked. It was a Thursday at just about 11:30 pm, August 31st. They were coming from the Detroit Tigers’ central office, sent by General Manager Al Avila, with papers for the Tigers’ long-time star to sign. After a yearContinue reading “The Sorrows of Old Verlander”

The Art of the -Gate

A different version of this article appeared in The New Republic on May 16th. And so it seems we do have Dick Nixon to kick around some more. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, Jr., once again and in force, the shade with the five-o-clock shadow returned to hauntContinue reading “The Art of the -Gate”

On Syria and Confusion…

This essay was first posted on Intellectual Takeout : We were warned. What would happen? Who could we trust? In the era of fake news, “alternative facts,” insult, and innuendo, when the time came…who was to be believed? In the fog of war–even of limited war and tactical skirmishes–the truth splinters into half-truths, conflicting conclusions, and incompleteContinue reading “On Syria and Confusion…”

Letter to the Editor, New York Times: On “What Was Lenin Thinking?”

Dear Editor, In Tariq Ali’s April 3, 2017 editorial in the New York Times, Mr. Ali wove together a good story of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s Russian ascent to power. Yet Ali’s nearly hagiographic essay is not even really about Leninism but a simplified take on Marxism. Ali’s Leninism (Marxism) reads as a singular, coherent idea whoseContinue reading “Letter to the Editor, New York Times: On “What Was Lenin Thinking?””